Meeting fire codes in zero-lot-line applications, Type III buildings, load-bearing party walls, and roof deck firewalls require fire- resistance ratings, including OSB sheathing that can be specified in these applications.
Developers and builders of zero-lot-line single family homes and Type III (podium) multifamily buildings face a two-fold challenge: what kind of fire-rated sheathing should they specify to meet code that also helps meet the project’s budget and schedule goals?
For architects, that question can be even broader. For example, what exterior wall assembly can they specify to provide more flexibility in designing wall openings, say for larger windows? How can sheathing better support the building’s framing and bracing requirements?
ICC Evaluated Solution
Many code officials are familiar with a proven PS2-rated structural sheathing solution now in service in hundreds of U.S. buildings today. It’s an ICC Evaluation Service evaluated (ESR-1365) exterior wall and roof deck component that’s pre-qualified with:
The OSB panel is created by applying a proprietary non-combustible, fiberglass-reinforced Pyrotite® layer to the OSB panel. The product, LP® FlameBlock® Fire-Rated OSB Sheathing manufactured by LP Building Products, blends structural performance with fire resistance in a single panel.
This combination is a positive development for architects like Michael Cody, AIA, principal of FitzGerald Associates Architects of Chicago. “For certain types of projects, we’re required to meet specific fire resistance ratings in line with building codes. We started using FlameBlock sheathing for its acceptance in the marketplace. People know it. It’s accepted in the building code.”
Cody and other designers are specifying FlameBlock sheathing for a variety of applications, including:
The lateral bracing characteristics help architects, owners, developers, and builders think beyond traditional construction methods without sacrificing fire safety and aesthetics. Washington, DC-area multifamily property developer Rick Morris, senior vice president of Avalon Bay, says, “We’re building five and six-story podium buildings. FlameBlock sheathing helps us go high and provide more density.”
Project Manager Drew Dewey of The Dragas Companies, a Virginia Beach multifamily property developer explains, “When we’ve used fire-rated plywood in the past, it tends to become damaged by water. FlameBlock stays stiff like you expect it to.” An LP official reports that FlameBlock sheathing was recently weather-exposed for more than six months on a Nashville construction project with no adverse effects.
As Morris mentioned, code officials are likely to use FlameBlock sheathing in applications where space and density are critical considerations. Zero-lot-line homes and multifamily developments are immediate beneficiaries. “With Type III construction becoming more and more prevalent, you can expect LP FlameBlock Fire-rated OSB Sheathing to be used more and more. It makes construction easier,” observes Rohit Anand, principal architect at KTGY Group, Inc., in Tysons, Virginia.
Technical Guide Available
Code officials can expect to see FlameBlock panels specified in more podium and zero-lot-line projects not only for ICC-certification and broad rating-agency approval, but also the construction ease Anand refers to.
Code professionals interested in learning more about FlameBlock OSB fire-rated structural panels are advised to click here for a comprehensive 16-page Technical Guide.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the sponsor and do not necessarily reflect those of the International Code Council, or Hanley Wood.
While LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding is easier to install, builders may feel pressured to skip a second look at installation guidelines in order to get a project complete on time or makeup for labor shortages. However, whether you’re a new or longtime LP SmartSide Trim & Siding user, taking the time to be attentive to proper installation will ensure you are upholding your product warranty and avoiding potential issues down the road.Continue Reading
Performance is written into everything we do at LP Building Solutions. This goes beyond the way our team members do their jobs, how we manufacture our products and the drive to deliver building solutions. We also watch, measure and steward our environmental performance. Sustainable sourcing and energy efficiency are just two ways we act as stewards of our environmental performance, but recently Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and LP signed a landmark conservation agreement to support 6.2 million acres in Manitoba’s boreal forest. This agreement is the culmination of an 18-year partnership between the two organizations that was jointly released in January 2020.
The homebuilding industry is always changing, thanks to housing trends, shifts in buyer preferences, new technologies and even finance options. We recently sat down with Brad Southern, CEO of LP Building Solutions, and Mike Sims, LP’s SVP of Marketing and Business Development, to discuss the latest industry developments.
Many construction companies and remodelers have been sorely challenged by the shortage of skilled laborers. As more companies struggle to find good workers and juggle projects, many are thirsty for strategies that promise to trim time.